According to recent news, Facebook has decided to hide all ads from US-based users that will be brought by foreign state outlets. The whole plan is to provide an extra protection layer against the foreign influence of several kinds that can affect the public debate about US elections in November 2020.

Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy, clarified in a post that the plan they designed will identify the content published by foreign state media controllers based on The Social Network™ marks, including the ads they buy and all these ads will be blocked in the US.

Facebook’s decision to apply labels and block ads is because of the criticism company has faced by employees and partners, as it refused to moderate posts from President Donald Trump last week. In this post, he addressed the riots after the death of George Floyd and said, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”According to the company, they won’t do anything as Facebook supports freedom of speech. Although this post was flagged by Twitter saying that Twitter’s policy was breached. According to Trump, he did not intend to incite violence.

He also said that transparency is very important, especially in the case of content people are seeing. The outcome of how a media organization influences the people, is combined with strategic backing of the state. People must know that the news they are reading is not from common sources but from the publication that is maybe under the control and influence of the government.

New labels were hoped to appear during this week in the newsfeed of Facebook. But it is said that ad block option will not affect anything until the end of summer, Or we can say that it will be effective after dates 10 and 24 August of Democratic and Republican conventions. So there is a lot of time for state media to promote deceitful content that can urge Facebook users to propagate in the deep cycle of US elections.

Details about the whole process utilized by state media are elaborated in the post by Facebook. Their main focus is to identify if these organizations have already guaranteed editorial protections and independence for their preservations. According to Gleicher, if they verify that there are sufficient protections for ensuring editorial independence, labels will not be applied. But you can access the blocked content via VPNs, and for thi purpose, you can read that review about Surfshark.

Where will labels appear?

You can see the labels in Ad Library Page and also in the transparency section of your page. In the US, these labels will appear in Newsfeed on posts. Labels will also appear on ads by state media outlets, which have just started few outlets and are slowly adding more outlets with time.

Policy criteria

65 different experts in governance, media, and human rights developments were consulted to inform policy criteria all around the world. The response from organizations proved helpful in understanding different ways used by governments to control media entities. Governments use funding mechanisms, but it does not provide the whole information. Several factors can indicate editorial control of the government; Facebook looks over most of them. Some of these are as follows:

  • Mission statement, public reporting, and mandate.
  • Ownership structure, for example, stakeholders, owners, management, board members, and government appointee, also includes disclosing indirect and direct ownership by individuals and organizations.
  • Details on newsroom staff and leadership.
  • Revenue and funding resources.
  • Accountability mechanisms and governance include complaints procedures, correctional policies, oversight boards, and external assessments.
  • Editorial guidelines, for example, content transparency around sources, their independence, and diversity.

Final verdict

Facebook has clarified the whole policy regarding blocking ads and taking control over them. It is now not difficult to access prohibited content. So people of the US can access the content they want to read or explore using secure VPNs. The Internet is full of a variety of VPNs you can choose from, but make sure to find the secure one and avoid free VPNs. You can also read that review about Surfshark, which is a completely secure and affordable VPN for everyone; you can choose the package that suits you.